Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

U.K. Finance Group Sees Brexit ‘Opportunity’ in Shift of Policy

  • TheCityUK says London will be able to exploit growth beyond EU
  • Britain free to chase own aims in trade agreements, group says

The U.K. finance industry’s main lobby group softened its tone towards leaving the European Union, calling it a "once-in-generation opportunity" in a boost to Prime Minister Theresa May’s strategy for Brexit.

TheCityUK, which opposed divorce from the bloc in last year’s referendum, said in a report published Tuesday that quitting offers Britain the chance to "re-calibrate and re-purpose" its investment and trade policy. 

While 40 percent of the country’s financial services trade is with Europe, 90 percent of economic growth will be generated elsewhere over the next 10 to 15 years, meaning new markets should become a priority, the group said.

“The prime minister has signaled her commitment to striking the best trade deals around the world post-Brexit,” Gary Campkin, director for policy and strategy at TheCityUK, said in an e-mailed statement. “One of the most significant opportunities for the U.K. following its exit from the EU will be its ability –- for the first time in decades –- to pursue an independent U.K. trade and investment policy based on U.K. interests.”

The lobby group advised against Brexit in the run-up to last June’s referendum and subsequently issued reports warning of the potential loss to the economy if finance suffers in the upcoming breakup. Earlier this month, it pulled back on its call for the continuance of so-called passporting, which allows banks to service the EU market from bases in London.

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